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France, officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a unitary sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean; due to its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"). France is one of only three countries (with Morocco and Spain) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. France has a population of 66 million. France is a semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the nation's largest city and the main cultural and commercial center. The Constitution of France establishes the country as secular and democratic, with its sovereignty derived from the people.
During the Iron Age, what is now France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The Gauls were conquered by the Roman Empire in 51 BC, which held Gaul until 486. The Gallo-Romans faced raids and migration from the Germanic Franks, who dominated the region for hundreds of years, eventually creating the medieval Kingdom of France. France's victory in the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453) strengthened French nationalism and paved the way for a future centralized absolute monarchy. France has been a major power in Europe since the Late Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, France experienced a vast cultural development and established the first steps of a worldwide colonial empire. The 16th century was dominated by Religious Civil Wars primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots).
Louis XIV made France the cultural, political and military dominant power in Europe, but by the late 18th century, the monarchy was overthrown in the French Revolution. The nation's ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, one of the world's earliest documents on human rights. The country was governed as a Republic, until the Empire was declared by Napoleon Bonaparte. As Napoleon I, he dominated European affairs and had a long-lasting impact on Western culture. Following Napoleon's defeat, an absolute monarchy was restored, replaced in 1830 by a constitutional monarchy, then briefly by a Second Republic, and then by a Second Empire, until a more lasting French Third Republic was established in 1870.
The colonial empire of France reached the height of global prominence during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it possessed the second-largest colonial empire in the world. In World War I, France was one of the Triple Entente powers fighting against Germany and the Central Powers. France was one of the Allied Powers in World War II, but it was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established, but it lasted less than a decade and a half. In the wake of the May 1957 crisis of the Algerian War, the Fourth Republic collapsed and was succeeded by the Charles de Gaulle-led French Fifth Republic. Into the 1960s decolonization saw most of the French colonial empire become independent. Throughout its long history, France has produced many influential artists, thinkers, and scientists, and remains a prominent global center of culture. It hosts the world's fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually – the most of any country in the world.
France remains a great power with significant cultural, economic, military, and political influence in Europe and around the world. It has the world's fifth-largest military budget, third-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and second-largest diplomatic corps. Due to its overseas regions and territories throughout the world, France has the second-largest exclusive economic zone in the world. France is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of total household wealth, France is the wealthiest nation in Europe and fourth in the world. French citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development. France is a founding member of the United Nations, where it serves as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is a member of numerous international institutions, including the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and La Francophonie. This country is a founding and leading member state of the EU.
The modern French video game market is largely dominated by Nintendo's systems, though Sega's consoles still have a place on the market. Games such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword were better received here than in other places in the world, and some Nintendo-made games such as Mario Kart X continue to be among the best selling games in the country years after release. Despite this, the most popular series in France at the moment is Assassin's Creed, published by the French publisher Ubisoft.
The popularity of not only Assassin's Creed but also the Batman Arkham and Zelda games suggest that the Action-Adventure is the favorite genre in this country.
The French video game industry hires thousands of people, thanks in large part to the presence of local publishers and developers such as Ubisoft. Ubisoft in particular dominates the French gaming industry, being one of the top publishers and developers of games in the world.
France uses the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system of rating games for audiences. Said ratings system is mandatory in France,